People who want to open a restaurant easily see the excitement—the glamor—of joining the industry. Many are quick to think that setting up shop is as easy as picking a location, coming up with a menu, and hiring chef and some staff. “What they don’t see is the hard work that goes on behind the scenes,” says Cyril Addison, one of the four pillars of ADVICHE, a Philippine-based consultancy firm offering complete food-and-beverage solutions.
ADVICHE offers services to anyone who wants to put up a restaurant, or those who are already in business, but need guidance in executing plans or making the enterprise more profitable. Cyril is joined by his wife Pierre, Carlos Villaflor, and Chele Gonzalez to make up an expert team supported by extensive skill, knowledge, and experience of the industry. Each one brings in expertise in a particular aspect. Gonzalez is, of course, the head honcho of Gallery by Chele, formerly Gallery by Vask. He brought in his protégé Villaflor for his expertise in Philippine culture and familiarity of surroundings.
In terms of food and menu, what can the team offer? “We can start from scratch—conceptualize something for them. We can create concepts that have never been created in the Philippines,” says Gonzalez, but adds that setting up a winning concept also requires looking at the other aspects of the system. “The kitchen is one side. A lot of businesses need to know the complexities of everyday operations.”
This is where the Addison couple comes in. Cyril can look at numbers, while Pierre can check on beverage. ADVICHE provides solutions: “We will help you look where you’re supposed to look and pinpoint those issues and we will help you fix it. That’s what we see is the biggest problem [in the industry]: Not knowing how to do it,” shares Cyril.
ADVICHE aims to service a clientele beyond the upscale market. The team knows that they would need to be flexible in terms of the client’s needs, budget, and time frame. They can offer their services to build a restaurant from the ground up or to produce just a simple burger.
Clients can even come in with a limited budget for a shorter period of time, without the market knowing how ADVCHE worked behind the scenes—the confidentiality is absolutely fine with the team.The kitchen team can be hired to just come up with a new menu, or those who handle operations can change service styles and procedures. For bigger clients with commissaries, ADVICHE can update techniques and food safety procedures. “We have certain clients with bigger budgets that want us to do their trainings. We can bring in those chefs to our kitchen and have them train with our chefs,” adds Chele.
Beyond the four walls
Flexibility allows ADVICHE to offer services beyond the walls of a restaurant. They can also initiate classes, organize curated dinners, or educate staff on beverages. Pierre is quick to point out that wines become an afterthought in this country, when it can easily be a good revenue generator: 30 to 50 percent of a restaurant’s revenue can come from beverage alone. ADVICHE doesn’t shy away from sharing knowledge such as this: “We try to help them understand that if you add this to your menu, you can increase income by 30 percent with no additional cost. We try to come in and explain what the revenue generators are,” says Cyril. “The little details that add up to a more cohesive profit-generating business,” adds Pierre.
ADVICHE has found its home at Stvdio Lab, the private dining space adjacent to Gallery by Chele. Here, chefs, led by Gonzalez and Villaflor, work with the latest culinary implements and gastronomic techniques, pushing their creativities to a realm of limitless boundaries. In this laboratory, the team can transform upo seeds or sampaguita petals beyond imagination.
This is where things can get crazy, all in pursuit of fine-tuning the littlest details at the request of a client. ADVICHE knows that its main responsibility is to take care of its customers. Their edge? A professionalized approach, guided by decades of accumulated knowledge.
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